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Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying
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Table of Contents

PART I When Do We Die? 1 Defining Death: A Report on the Medical, Legal and Ethical Issues in the Determination of Death (Excerpt) 2 Defining Death in a Technological World: Why Brain Death Is Death 3 We Die When Entropy Overwhelms Homeostasis 4 What It Is to Die PART II Can We Survive Our Death? 5 The Tragic Sense of Life (Excerpts) 6 Can We Survive Our Deaths? 7 The Possibility of an Afterlife PART III Can Death Be Good or Bad for Us? If So, When Is It Good or Bad for Us? 8 Letter to Menoeceus 9 Two Arguments for Epicureanism 10 Why Death Is Not Bad for the One Who Dies 11 Death Is Bad for Us When We’re Dead 12 Making Death Not Quite as Bad for the One Who Dies PART IV Can Lucretius’ Asymmetry Problem Be Solved? 13 On the Nature of Things (Excerpts) 14 If You Want to Die Later, Then Why Don’t You Want to Have Been Born Earlier? 15 Coming Into and Going Out of Existence PART V Would Immortality Be Good for Us? 16 The Epic of Gilgamesh (Excerpts) 17 The Story of the Man Who Did Not Wish to Die 18 How to Live a Never-Ending Novela (Or, Why Immortality Needn’t Undermine Identity 19 Taking Stock of the Risks of Life without Death 20 Immortality, Boredom, and Standing for Something PART VI What Is the Best Attitude to Take Toward Our Mortality? 21 Death, Mortality, and Meaning 22 Fitting Attitudes Towards Deprivations 23 The Enchiridion (Excerpts) 24 Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion (Excerpts) 25 Voluntary Death PART VII How Should We React to the Deaths of Others? 26 Letter to Lucilius 27 Why Grieve? 28 The Significance of Future Generations 29 Death and Survival Online PART VIII Is Suicide Rationally or Morally Defensible? 30 Whether One Is Allowed to Kill Oneself 31 Of Suicide (Excerpts) 32 Suicide is Sometimes Rational and Morally Defensible 33 Suicide and Its Discontents 34 An Irrational Suicide? PART IX How Does Death Affect the Meaningfulness of Our Lives? 35 World as Will and Representation (Excerpts) 36 Death in Mind: Life, Meaning, and Mortality 37 Meaning in Life in Spite of Death 38 Out of the Blue into the Black: Reflections on Death and Meaning

About the Author

Michael Cholbi is Chair in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and the founder of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying. His publications include Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions (2011), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death (2015), and Grief: A Philosophical Guide (2021).

Travis Timmerman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Seton Hall University and executive committee member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying. He specializes in the philosophy of death, normative ethics, and applied ethics. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment of the Humanities grant and co-recipient of an Immortality Project grant for his work in ethics and death respectively.

Reviews

"The scholarship, originality, variety, and pedagogical intelligence of Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying are outstanding to the point that a disclaimer seems in order: do not underestimate this book….. Cholbi and Timmerman have achieved the book’s compact package of breadth and depth without compromising on the completeness or clarity of the analyses and arguments. Put bluntly, it would be entirely inaccurate and unfortunate to mistake this anthology as an ad hoc "hot-topic" quick hook for undergraduates. Much to their credit, Cholbi and Timmerman have used their expertise as scholars and teachers to create an anthology that respects its subject and reader alike such that the real hook of Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying is not the topic but philosophy itself."
Review in Teaching Philosophy by Susan Mills (MacEwan University)"The areas of death, immortality, meaning in life, and related issues are hot topics in contemporary philosophy. Once the domain only of European philosophers, especially the existentialists, in the last few decades Anglo-American analytic philosophers have jumped in. This book is an excellent introduction to the best work on these interrelated issues. The editors have done an outstanding job of selecting authors who know their stuff and write very accessibly. This book would be perfect for an undergraduate class, and it would also be invaluable to anyone interested in learning the lay of the philosophical land in this lively area of historical and contemporary interest. The book shows how philosophy engages with issues of deep human interest."
John Martin Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside"This splendid collection is distinctive in many ways. The essays address issues that really matter to us, such as whether it is bad to die, and if so, why, whether we might survive death, and whether the inevitability of death undermines meaning in our lives. Although most of the essays were written by contemporary philosophers for this collection, there are also judicious selections from classic writings in the history of philosophy, including works by ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and works from Eastern traditions as well. Those who are haunted in one way or another by the specter of death, as most of us are, will find much careful argument, as well as some genuine wisdom in these pages."
Jeff McMahan, White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

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